Zynga is one of Technology Review's most innovative companies in 2012

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CityVille ScientistSay what you will about Zynga, but it did lead social games into the mainstream--just look at Words With Friends. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Technology Review has included Zynga in its list, The 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2012. The now-public Hidden Chronicles maker is joined by staples, like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

However, Zynga is the only game creator to receive the honor this year, and one of two gaming companies. (Game streaming service OnLive earned a nod, too.) MIT says that social gaming has introduced new business models for gaming companies while dramatically expanding the appeal of computer games.

The main reason that MIT decided to include Zynga on its list of top innovators in tech is that the developer "has mastered the art of giving away games and then persuading players to make in-game purchases of virtual goods, sometimes adding up to many times the typical purchase price of a game," according to the list.

Zynga has received its fair share of flak and praise over the past few months in light of the recent copycat allegations thrown its way. While it's a no-brainer that the developer's strategy has led it to create games that are uncannily similar to competitors', it's tough to argue whether Zynga helped blow a new demographic of gamers wide open and establish an entirely new genre.

[Via Twitter]

Do you think Zynga is deserving of MIT's recognition? What other game makers do you think should have been mentioned? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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